At the beginning of September, Google announced that it was adding another member to its ad extension family in AdWords. The extension is called “Callouts” and it adds non-linkable bullet points to any search ad. Throughout the month, AdWords has started rolling out this new extension to eager advertisers.
Callout Extension Overview
The easiest way to describe the Callout extension is simply Sitelinks without the links.
Where the goal of Sitelinks is to offer users different landing pages based on their interests, Callouts offer advertisers a brand new line of text where additional messages can be displayed. This can include 3 to 4 bullets, with a 25 character max for each bullet, of any text an advertiser would want, including special offers, product benefits, and features.
As advertisers discover ways to utilize this new extension, most will come to the conclusion that Callouts are a beneficial addition to any ad. Here’s a look at 4 reasons why the Callout extensions should be on every advertiser’s radar.
1.) Additional Real Estate
Upon seeing what the Callout extension looks like, it’s obvious that the first and most important reason to use Callouts is to take up more space on search results. This extra line of text not only has the ability to make an ad larger in size, but also allows for additional messaging beyond the normal 95 characters Google offers.
There are, however, a few points to consider with regard to the new space offered through Callouts:
- The normal ad guidelines apply to the Callouts, including no word duplication, excessive punctuation and gimmicky symbols (such as ♡).
- While there is a 25 character limit for each, Google suggests that only 12 – 15 characters are used in order to maximize the number of bullets that appear.
- Like other extensions, Callouts will only appear if an ad is shown on one of the top ad positions.
2.) Look Better in the Eyes of Google
Last year, Google started changing its algorithm for determining an ad’s quality score. The biggest change affected the roll ad extensions have on the quality score. Now, if two competing ads have the same quality and bid, Google will look towards ad extension performance to see what ad gets placed first.
This gives advertisers another benefit beyond physical space to add the Callout extension. If done correctly, relevant and high performing Callouts can mean the difference in ad position when competing against other advertisers.
3.) Testing Out Different Call to Actions
Similar to any paid advertising plan, it’s necessary to test out different elements in Callouts to see what’s working, and what isn’t. With Callout extensions, just like Sitelinks, a large number can be created in any campaign. This allows advertisers to mix and match live Callout combinations in order to discover what ones work the best.
Google offers a report similar to Sitelinks that let the advertiser know detailed information on a Callout’s performance. This includes clicks, click through rate, and conversions. Monitoring this data and coming up with the best combination is essential for getting the most out of this extension.
4.) Customized Scheduling
Right off the bat, Google is making these extensions as customizable as possible. Advertisers have the control of when certain Callout are shown, including what time of day, as well as start and end dates.
This can offer advertisers a good amount of unique, time sensitive ways to use Callout extensions. This could include coupon codes, one-time special offers, or holiday related messages. Allowing customization adds to the usefulness of the extension, and improves its already high level of appeal.
When looking at what Callouts bring to the advertising table, it could be said that this is one of the biggest changes to Google’s ad format. The Callout extension can offer advertisers more advertising space for additional wording and, potentially, a better quality score.
Looking at the Callout extension, it is clear that it has no serious drawbacks, making it a perfect one to test out.